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Dustin Brown’s late goal disallowed, Kings fall to Oilers

Dustin Brown’s late goal disallowed, Kings fall to Oilers

LOS ANGELES – First it counted, then it didn’t.

The Kings were down by two goals with time running out in the third period Saturday night in their game against the Edmonton Oilers. Dustin Brown scored with 18 seconds to play to get his team close, then it appeared he scored to tie the game with just under 10 seconds left.

A review was to see if the puck crossed the line. It did, and the game-tying goal was allowed. Then it was disallowed after a coach’s challenge because Brown was found to be guilty of interfering with goaltender Cam Talbot.

The end result was a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Oilers before a sellout crowd of 18,230 at Staples Center.

The massive cheer the fans gave upon thinking the game was tied, was quickly met with one giant boo and not-so-nice chants directed at the officials.

A replay showed Brown jamming the puck past the goal-line and Talbot, whose glove was down but seemingly not on top of the puck.

“No,” Brown said, when asked if he agreed he interfered with Talbot. “The puck was loose. If the puck’s trapped under his pad, and you jam it in the net, I mean, that’s been the standard.

“I’m hitting the puck in front of his pad. What am I supposed to do? I don’t know. It’s frustrating.”

Kings coach John Stevens thought the goal should have been allowed.

“I think the league is so confused, that I’m confused,” he said. “I don’t think they know what it (inference) is, so how the hell are we supposed to know what it is, right? There’s a loose puck sitting in the crease and he jams it in the net. I sure as heck would like to see it count as a goal. I think that’s just a good, hard hockey goal.

“We saw a play before the game where the puck was jammed under the goalie’s pad and he drove the pad in the net. I get that, right? Goalie’s gotta be allowed to make a save. But that puck was entirely loose, Brownie hit the puck first and it goes in the net.”

Even so, the playoff-contending Kings (33-24-5, 71 points) were down 3-1 entering the third period to an Edmonton team not fighting for a post-season berth. The Oilers are 26-31-4 (56 points).

Anton Slepyshev scored his fourth of the season just 51 seconds into the game for the Oilers, who went up 2-0 on Leon Draisaitl’s 19th at 6:16 of the second period.

Tyler Toffoli got the Kings within 2-1 on his 20th at 14:26 of the second, thanks in part to an assist by Nate Thompson. But turnovers can kill momentum, and when the Kings turned the puck over in the neutral zone less than three minutes later, their deficit was 3-1 when Jujhar Khaira netted his 10th after skating in alone on Jonathan Quick, who made 21 saves.

Tobias Rieder, recently acquired by the Kings from Arizona, scored his ninth of the season and first as a member of the Kings at 7:51 of the third and the Oilers’ lead was cut to 3-2.

Rieder talked about the emotional swing at the end, when the Kings went from thinking they had tied the game, to knowing they had not.

“Well, it’s crazy, obviously,” he said. “You could hear the fans cheering and then the fans booing. It was a tough call against us, but that happens in hockey.”

The Kings had life after Rieder’s goal, and plenty of time to catch Edmonton. But the Oilers got an empty-net goal by Ryan Strome at 19:01 for a 4-2 lead. Forty-one seconds later, Brown scored his 18th. But what would have been his 19th never became official.

Talbot was happy to get the victory, but he suggested it never should have come to having to rely on a goaltender inference call to get it.

“Not the ideal way we wanted to end it,” he said. “When you go up by two goals with under a minute, it should be a done deal. But I guess you could say we found a way to gut one out and got a call.”

The game marked the return of Kings forward Jeff Carter, who had been out since the third week of October with a lacerated ankle. Carter played just over 17 1/2 minutes and had four shots on goal.

The Kings out-shot the Oilers 33-25.

Next up for the Kings are the Pacific Division leading Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night at 7:30 at Staples Center.

Press Enterprise